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Family Endows Scholarship to Help Ensure Industrial Safety

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The Robinsons were honored at a luncheon held by the College of Engineering.

Nothing is more devastating than the loss of a child. For Helen and Colonel Dayton Robinson Jr., that news came while their son was taking a summer break from his studies at Dartmouth to work for a lumber company. He was killed in an industrial accident. Sonny, as the family called him, was only 20 years old.

That tragedy occurred in 1973. In 2005, the Robinsons began the process of endowing the Dayton Robinson III Memorial Endowed Scholarship in the UA College of Engineering. The scholarship benefits students interested in industrial safety. With the $150,000 scholarship endowment, the Robinsons have helped ensure that accidents such as the one that cut short Sonny’s promising life will not happen to others.

This isn’t the first time the couple had channeled their grief and energy into helping others. In 1980 Helen Robinson founded the Tuscaloosa chapter of the group Compassionate Friends, a self-help group for parents who have lost a child at any age. Both she and Colonel Robinson devoted much time and effort to helping other families.

Colonel Robinson, a career Marine who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, passed away on August 1, 2007. Helen Robinson continues the couple’s tradition of helping others.

Through their scholarship endowment, that family tradition will support UA students and ensure a safer working environment for future engineers. It will also ensure the honored memory of their loved one will live on for many years to come.

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